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joe_sixsteps
joe_sixsteps

mULti-torTOISe
Location: Kent currently, Cornwall soon,...
Member Since: 17th Oct 2003
Total posts: 310
Posted:I may be being somewhat pre-emptive with this, as I have only just sent off my initial query to the companies involved... but anyway....



So in an idle moment last week I was thinking about a way to source a regular income from spinning. Amongst a slew of ideas, one of the more reasonable (and legal) possibilities was to try and find out whether ship-board insurance would prevent a group of spinners from doing a nightly entertainment slot on board one of the larger cruise ships. There seem to be two avenues for this, either as a paid employee of the cruise line (direct or through an agency) or as a sort of entertainment contractor. Either way, it would probably make sense to also teach both childrens' and adults' classes in basic spinning during the day, leading up to some sort of performence by them at the end of their cruise.



I have no idea whether spending a few months doing something like this would be a wicked way to practice some new tricks whilst getting paid and getting a tan, and seeing the Caribbean for free... or whether it would be one long stretch of purgatory and misery. I guess it depends who you're there with...



Question One: Has anyone tried this before, or investigated it, or does anyone have any anecdotes or advice or anything?



I have written to two of the largest ship-board employment contracting agencies, and to several of the shipping lines direct, including a brief rant about spinning and some photos and so forth. It appears that any fire-spinning group would need to be able to perform about a half-hour to forty-minute entertainment slot, and I said in my letter that this would probably necessitate either at least six members, or that the group branched out into other tricks as well... you may disagree with that assessment, but for now it's only an estimate so not too important.



Question Two: If they turn out to be keen, how many of you are there (amazingly, it almost doesn't matter where you come from as far as visas go) who would be up for joining me for a couple of months in the sun at some point? No need to commit at all until I get some more info out of them about salaries, contract times and so forth - at the moment this is nothing more than one of my random rants, and I may not go anywhere with it myself, even if they are keen. We would need to meet up for a while beforehand somewhere and get some sort of group performance together, so people with performance experience would be good.



I will keep you all posted.


The Confusion Squid has many tentacles

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polythene
veteran
Location: London/ Surrey
Member Since: 15th May 2003
Total posts: 1359
Posted:Actually, Scott and I have been seriously considering working on a cruise ship for a couple of months! ubbtickled (not me spinning, obviously, so no comments from those familiar with my poi skills, yes you, Flid! tongue I'll probably end up as a barmaid rolleyes, and we did have a look at croupier (sp?) courses, good wages in ships casinos, or so I've been told) But yeah, if we could manage to fill all the staff with fantastic, shiny, like-minded people, so much the better!

I'd be more than happy to do some safety stuff/ costumes etc for a spinning group as well, if that would be of any use (A friendly offer, wouldn't expect to get paid as a performer smile)

Keep us posted!


The optimist claims that we are living in the best of all possible worlds.
The pessimist fears this is true.

Always make time to play in the snow.

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vanize
vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas
Member Since: 21st Aug 2001
Total posts: 3899
Posted:just be warned that working on a cruise ship is HARD work (you will get almost no time off) and doesn't pay much at all. On the other hand, it is a great way to see the world.

-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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[Nx?]
[Nx?]

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Europe,Scotland,Both
Member Since: 5th Nov 2001
Total posts: 3749
Posted:yo,

Ive got a couple of freinds who worked on cruise ships and have gone for an interview myself (as a technician rather than a performer)

Of my friends, the first was a croupier, and had a whale of a time, drinking very heavily and working almost as hard.

The second was a perfomer (silks) and although she said it was a valuable experance she wouldent go back.

From my own impressions at interview and what ive been told ships are a bit of a corperate hell you cant escape from, there are cabin inspections, long hours, strict dress codes et al. You have to be clean (chemically) and presentable, no earrings, visable tats stuff like that.

I decided that i really couldent hack it, cos im to much of a rebel when it comes to corperate enviroments but this dosnt apply to everyone of course.

if peaple want a starting point, Royal carrabian cruises are always looking for peaple.

T wave


This is a post by tom, all spelling is deleberate
-><- Kallisti

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:However you don't really get to see the world because usually you are working during the ports of call stops.



I have friends who are entertainment directors or specialists on different cruise ships, and Vanize is right, it is hard work and they are really demanding. My friend who is a lighting director told me that quarters are tight, hours are long, performances are regimented and choreographed to perfection.

A friend who is a juggler (Michael) had a contract that was for 6 months. He made more money working for a circus, however he did not have to do a full 40 minute show. They have variety shows that they will insert acts into. That is encouraged because generally they do not want alot of people who are a formed group. When it comes to variety they like one or two people who do alot of different things so they can use you to do quite a bit (more for less space and money). He said he would never do it again and talked me out of it.



And my friend Chris from Victoria did a 3 month stint on a cruise ship. He was not allowed to do fire poi or staff (his specialties) and he had to provide his own insurance to do fire eating/breathing/trailing. He also had to learn to juggle for it. During that 3 months he went to ports of call 5 times.

In the end he said it was a positive experience as he was able to meet alot of really cool people but he said much longer than that would have made him mad. He wouldn't do it again either. He had to really fight for "safe" costuming for the fire stuff he could do.



Just trying to give you things to think about. My friend (Pat) who is the lighting tech absolutely loves it.



And, btw, the strictest cruiseline to work for is Disney. My understanding is that if you are in anyway of a creative control over your show kind of person, or if you are of a more bohemian/hippie lifestyle...avoid them at all costs.



Anyway, best of luck to you whichever way it goes!

Pele

EDITED_BY: Pele (1075159619)


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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joe_sixsteps
joe_sixsteps

mULti-torTOISe
Location: Kent currently, Cornwall soon,...
Member Since: 17th Oct 2003
Total posts: 310
Posted:Thank you all for your input - it's really interesting to read all this as basically I have no idea. Essentially, from what I've read, I completely agree with your assessments of the work conditions as a direct employee - when you're not working, you have a range of other tasks to do, and some lines even limit your deck time and stuff like that.

However, the other avenue to go down is as a contracting performer - it seems to be a very different route, in as much as you take responsibility as a group for the whole of your performance, subject of course to safety / content approvals from the entertainment directors, and your free time is much less regulated. Besides which, negotiating from the position of a complete group is a far stronger platform for debate - if you have a regular slot they will find it harder to throw you off en masse, and if you are giving spinning lessons at the same time you will be able to build a relationship with passengers (no matter how transitory) that will stand in your favour. And, on top of that, the money is better! One of the agencies I have written to ( Cruise Ship Jobs) lists a salary band of US$4000 - 18000 per month depending on the line and the material. I don't know if I have just totally misunderstood the advert though, that seems a little much.

Essentially, I am in the fortunate position of having no need at all to go in for this, and can afford to be really choosy with deals and contracts and stuff. I would be looking for complete creative control over the perfomance by the group of spinners, no limit on deck time, no work apart from the performance and some teaching of passengers, and a fairly short-term contract. The money would be less important to me I think, as most of the draw for me is the opportunity to draw a fixed salary for spinning, whilst having plenty of practice time with other spinners and getting a nice tan as well... cool


The Confusion Squid has many tentacles

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Both of my friends who performed were contract in performers.
Both said they did not hire groups en masse, because it is more room and board to shell out, so I can understand the logic there. They also both said they felt they truly did not have alot of creative control. They were told what they could and could not do.

Both were able to teach juggling but not poi (it was concidered to have liability written over it). One of these was Carnival. I will have to ask what Chris worked for.

Pat works for Royal, but as he is a lighting tech, it is a bit different.

I hope it works out differently for you than for them.
smile

Pele


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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joe_sixsteps
joe_sixsteps

mULti-torTOISe
Location: Kent currently, Cornwall soon,...
Member Since: 17th Oct 2003
Total posts: 310
Posted:Aye... only a few hours in, and this is already starting to look like a less than attractive prospect.

Just got an email back from one of the employment agencies, which I thought was pretty impressive until I realised that it was a standard form asking me to fill in an application, and pay them $50, in order for them to list my details with the shipping lines...

Forget that. But I'll keep y'all posted with anything better that comes in.

Thanks for the advice Pele - it does me good to be going into this with the right air of scepticism, instead of with my head in the clouds and loads of dreams of hot beaches and women in bikinis... not that there's anything wrong with me dreaming about women in bikinis... is there?

wink


The Confusion Squid has many tentacles

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flid
flid

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Warwickshire
Member Since: 27th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3136
Posted:I dream about pounce in a bikini on a regular basis, but then a few seconds later frodo in a pair of black speedos covered in jelly comes into view. All things considered it's something i'd rather stop dreaming about rolleyes

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pounce
pounce

All the neurotic makings of America's lesser known sweetheart
Location: body in Las Vegas, heart all a...
Member Since: 10th Jan 2003
Total posts: 9831
Posted:ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol

oh my....now people on HOP are dreaming about me....

rolleyes


I was always scared with my mother's obsession with the good scissors. It made me wonder if there were evil scissors lurking in the house somewhere.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

**giggles**

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joe_sixsteps
joe_sixsteps

mULti-torTOISe
Location: Kent currently, Cornwall soon,...
Member Since: 17th Oct 2003
Total posts: 310
Posted:Quote:
I dream about pounce in a bikini on a regular basis, but then a few seconds later frodo in a pair of black speedos covered in jelly comes into view. All things considered it's something i'd rather stop dreaming about




Well, Flid, if you will sit up until dawn every night, half naked and glazed with sweat, your eyes red and painfull, watching Jellyhigh.wmv over and over again... you can expect to have some strange dreams. I should know.


The Confusion Squid has many tentacles

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pounce
pounce

All the neurotic makings of America's lesser known sweetheart
Location: body in Las Vegas, heart all a...
Member Since: 10th Jan 2003
Total posts: 9831
Posted:oh sheesh ubblol

I was always scared with my mother's obsession with the good scissors. It made me wonder if there were evil scissors lurking in the house somewhere.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

**giggles**

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Durbs
Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England
Member Since: 23rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 5688
Posted:I looked into doing drumming work on cruise ships a while back when I finished music college. It was really useful as we had a couple of people come in a talk to us about it; one a guitarist who had done it and one a contractor who wanted people to do it (In seperate lectures).
The impression that I got was that everyone signed up thinking "Great, I get to play 2/3 times a day, practive lots and lounge about when I'm not working" When the reality is that once you've finished your musical work, you have to help with ship duties, you can't mingle at will with the guests and you seldom get to go in to the ports.
Also the pay wasn't great, but in fairness you get "free" food and accomodation - plus there's no where to spend your money you are earning (plus it's tax free!) except at the ship bar - which ain't cheap.

What came off better was short distance ferry work (UK to France for example) where you did like 8 shows a day (There and back 4 times) but you were just an entertainer. However the money was worse and it wouldn't be as fun in terms of your performance.



Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Quote:

Just got an email back from one of the employment agencies, which I thought was pretty impressive until I realised that it was a standard form asking me to fill in an application, and pay them $50, in order for them to list my details with the shipping lines...





Lord does that sound familiar. "And with this non-refundable low procesing fee of only $50, we can garuntee you might possibly get work."

Yeah...riiiiiiight!

Now imagine all those poor hopefuls who fall for it. frown


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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